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' Horatio. Oh day and night : but this is wondrous strange, 
Hamlet. And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. 
There are more things in Heaven and earth 
than are dream' t of in our philosophy." 



(Cte H^iterj^ibe preiS^, Cambritioe 



Published October IQ03 

Ad Manes Baconi 

This, let my supplication be, — 
One fragment of thy radiant soul, 
Of thy Promethean heat one coal, 

O Master-Mystic give to me. 



I. Jacob de Bruck to Francis Bacon . .• . . i 

II. Francis Bacon to Jacob de Bruck ... 4 

III. Henry Briggs to John Napier 19 

IV. John Napier to Henry Briggs . . . . 23 
V. Guido Fawkes, otherwise Guy Fawkes, to Francis 

Bacon . -27 

VI. William Shakspeare to Francis Bacon . . . 31 
VII. Francis Bacon to William Shakspeare . . •34 
VIII. Notes, Critical and Explanatory, by the Editor . 47 
IX. De Bruck's Latin Verses Englished in Ten Para- 
phrases by the Editor 66 

Glossary . 75 



Jacob de Bruck, Angermundt, to Francis Bacon 

Christmas, 1904 
My singular good friend : 

By manie noble rivers 
winding through fruitful and pleasant lands, we came 
to a grove wherein there stood a stately temple, in 
breadth some two hundred feet and of a height I 
should judge above one hundred and fiftie, the archi- 
trave supported upon Doric pillars, hewn as I think 
out of porphyre or chalcedonie, and above the en- 
trance I read these words in the Latin tongue. To 
the memorie of the Mystics of the earth. Whilst I was 
admiring the graceful proportions of this majestick 
pile, I felt drawn, as it were by some potent influ- 
ence, within the walls of the building, and before I 
was aware of it I had crossed the threshold. 

[ I ] 

JACOB DE BRUCK, Angermundt, to 

The court within was answerable to the proportions 
of the temple. The pavement was of some material 
the like of which I had never before beheld. 

Every stone therein glowed as with living light. 
I was aware of a throng shadowy as a veil and of a 
presence under a canopy raised somewhat above the 
level of the floor. As I was about to make obeisance 
unto it, the accents of a stern voice brake upon me 
saying, Who cometh hither.? Then made answer 
another from the farthest end of the hall, He who 
was on earth the Chevalier de Bruck of Angermundt. 
Before I could utter an exclamation of wonder, me- 
thought the first voice replied, Let his record be 
examined. Straightway thereupon another voice not 
harsh and stern, but low and silvery, read as from 
a book these words: Nationality unknown; of birth 
gentle; Earth date 1616; emblem writer. While I 
was still bowing amazed and strook with sudden 
fear, the first voice, addressing the throng, said, Let 
him return this day one moon hence, and let him 
be furnisht with an exposition of his mysticisms. I 
turned away, and, as if it had been by some magical 
art, I beheld, as I live and hope for mercie, a statue 
of your Excellency. 

Then came I out into the pleasant fields commun- 
ing with myself what should be the meaning of 
so strange an event, and marvelling wherein I had 
deserved to be enrolled a mystic. 



Breathless ran I back, and, prostrating myself, 
craved leave to bring again such part onlie of mine 
emblemes as memorie could supplie me withal. What 
I craved was granted. 

In that brief interval I did recall the booklet your 
Excellency, for reasons best known to yourself, did 
draw me on to set forth in the ancient city of Stras- 
bourg in the year of our Lord 1616. What the pen- 
altie may be of disobedience to their behests certes 
I know not ; but this right well I know, or rather this 
right well I fear: some calamity will befall me if I 
fail. I know another thing : by your help onlie shall 
I be able to obey their commandments. 

Have, therefore, a pityful eye upon me, and give 
ear unto my petition. Send, I praie, by the nearest 
way, a compendium, writ to mine humble under- 
standing, of so many or so few of the body of that 
strange writing which once, O master, was committed 
unto me, and I shall ever rest in humilitie your poor 

Jacob de Bruck. 



Francis Bacon to Jacob de Bruck, Angermundt 


I thank you heartily for vouchsafing to send 
me your late lines, and for certifying what seemeth 
strange to you, but not to me. To expound emblems 
at this present I find myself neither fit nor disposed ; 
and besides this averse disposition of my mind, I have 
scant leisure to write a short letter, as a worthie 
Ancient once said, and no wish to write a long one. 
Nevertheless, because I find myself knit to your 
deservings with bands of enduring strength, I would 
not have you think me either remiss in civility or of 
so slothful a nature that to stead a friend I would 
not run against the bias of distaste. I will, therefore, 
to the uttermost of my power and amity, recount 
those things w^hich may at this time advantage you 
and perad venture harm me no jot. 

Premising this onlie, that the distaste whereof I 
have spoken proceedeth not upon anie ill conceit of 
your person ; but rather upon mine inflexible opinion 
that all that I did upon those curious toys called 



emblems devoured time that was ill bestowed. Me- 
thinks I did assume too great a nimbleness of wit 
in the French men of your time, that I builded too 
great hopes upon the sagacity of the German and 
the tenacity and slow plodding of the students who 
dwelt in the Netherlands. Of mine own countrymen 
I did expect little, nor in this was I deceived. 

The age which followed mine was an age of civil 

When Peace brow-bound with her olive garland 
came back to that distracted isle, the old learning 
had died ; and that which commonly happeneth after 
civil war thereupon ensued: Folly became the mas- 
ter of the revels. How else (think you) was it that 
it came to pass, though I planted manie a sprigge in 
manie a quaint and curious emblem volume, that not 
one germinated or bore flowering seed for hard upon 
three centuries ? As for yours, some of them, in verie 
truth clear as a mathematical diagram, failed utterly, 
failed hopelessly, of anie the least effect. But satis 
superque. If I mistake not, in the drawings and text 
of that which I now send there be little error. In 
the emblemes which now I doe expound I have 
thought good to put exposition and embleme on the 
same page whereby methinks my meaning may be 
better discerned. 

Now because the mind hath by its own properties 
slowness of motion and inertness, specially if the 

[ 5 ] 


subject be strange or new, I have thought it befitting 
to observe not the order which obtaineth in de Bruck 
his emblemes, but rather to begin with those which 
are most patent, going then to the more recondite 
and complex. 

iu^ h 


Exposition of ye emblemes. 
Number i. You shall see in this emblem, that the 
wind setteth from that quarter where certain revellers 


JACOB DE BRUCK, Angermundt 

are making merry under the trees : this is indicated 
by the waving of the sedge seen growing along 
the bank of the stream ; questionlesse, therefore, the 
spear enveloped with ciphers threaded on a strand 
will shake and vibrate in the brize. 

The motto or poesy of the ring, " Ultima Frigent',' 
at the last they shake, signifieth no less. The eel 
prone upon his back denoteth two thinges : first the 
vowel " U " (that is, you) may be supposed to utter 
this phrase, You, Shakespeare, enveloped as thou art 
in ciphers. As hath been said, the " U " may also 
be taken as expressing the Roman numeral 5, hence 
that the five fold cipher, like the eel his back on, is 

The last line of the Latin poem, " Now the under- 
taker layeth hold of the fame of the dead man," 
uttereth a prophecy. 



Zx JtcmfmdU r7i/ic(?, en. £l{^ 

O oc^ '^Cas JoooLcm Ic^zds cum f^}ulmdui, 

Number 2. There needeth no other interpretation 
of this emblem than a brief quotation from the plaie 
of Cymberline as followeth : " And when from a 
stately cedar shall be lopped branches which, being 
dead manie years, shall after revive, be jointed to the 
old stock, and freshly grow, then shall posthumas 
end his miseries, Britain be fortunate, and flourish in 


JACOB DE BRUCK, Angermundt 

peace and plenty." Posthumas prefiguring there the 
after ages, and the branches dead manie years that 
portion of my writings which I did sequester from 
the vulgar gaze. 

Turn we now to number three, with its motto^ 

j:^r sSx^M^ocvM ^ t^vj^o:^s. 

C UJiLnt tncfu -^diut sic, dc ^lafn? d 
^Jytun. liovu^ tiuU>, cefiu£ujr ttcc aJU, 



^' Nil ultrar Therein may be seen prefigered my 
cipher, and the snail marching round and round his 
ring the slow process of its solution. 

QtucfTLutdF tk f^^rc^i^yzUtaJ ice Or^xsJoM' 

Number 4. The fabled phoenix rising from his 
ashes I hold to be a representation of those secret 

[ 10] 

JACOB DE BRUCK, Angermundt 

writings already touched upon. The cipher held 
aloft, my cipher. 

The buried numbers 39 and 27 signifieth a two 
fold numerical cipher. The obelisk, peradventure it 
is a joke ; peradventure it is a deep fetch of my wit. 

There needeth in conclusion onlie this, as the 
verse declareth, It is not mortal fame that I desire. 

Number 5. The youth standeth upon a hillock 
and bloweth at a candle. What more, marry.? I trow 



little more ; but the drift of your book being now ap- 
parent, there may be one who, regarding the knights 
that Shake speares, will pierce the veil and say, " Out, 
out, brief candle ! life 's but a walking shadow, a poor 
player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage 
and then is heard no more." 

My poor player moveth apace to his final exit. 

Number 6. In the sonnets called the Sonnets of 

yjjrm. ^-uUd ivc? -^ti^nt daks ^czaCt, 

\JLd<uJLeUfuuu tnutlL e^r puzm^ (ncax4^/ nefvrs 
cJ ff / / .U f , ^ / -^- 

[ 12] 

JACOB DE BRUCK, Angermundt 

Shakespeare there be divers notable mysteries, as 
manie writers have in good part marked. This emblem 
addresseth itself to observation, not to the intellect. 
The light and the dark " A " in the impress of those 
sonnets are represented in the branches of the tree. 
These two letters signify a two fold literal cipher 
and make the distinction between one which is nu- 
merical, shown in the fourth emblem herein. This 
cannot be understood except ye examine with care 
the light and the dark "A" with their suspended 
key in Shakespeare his sonnets. The executioner in 
the back ground doth behead his victim, an obscure 
glance at that notable mystery, " The onlie Begetter 
of these ensuing sonnets." 

[ 13 ] 


CjjejaJjit, ^tumj culfiLULiL -/idcta. rtvflif 
(^tc r^ru -fn^ie^^ CiiM O^tH^Mdu/oL Uwut, 

^u^ fh 

j:>{A£'&e Intuit,. ^ 

Number 7. This emblem taketh hold, under the 
name of logs, of the logarithms; and by the motto 
of the ring, ''Nil solidum',' nothing solid, I gave a 
warning against credulous beliefs. 

[ 14] 

JACOB DE BRUCK, Angermundt 

Number 8. I will make signification unto you of 
the Emblem which here you behold as foUoweth: 

^.yyttiUtL OTuacm, mtutL -mcuiJitj cc jziarm/L fuuit; 
i^jue. -n&u ra/ru; C^^i^^lLUt(^/^chUz 
Qf^^ cLu&na. -fioU, certo ejt vtx a^^^ pcncLf. 

I mean of the ant beneath the hat, that you must 
seek him ere you dig my meaning out; and I mean of 
the shovel resting upon the arm of the sea, that the 
sea cant uphold it. The rebus of a secant is plainly 
expressed in seek ant and sea cant. But to make my 
meaning clear, that the trigonometrical functions of 

[ 15] 


the arc have a relation to my problem, I chose the 
French word for dint.fourmys, in the french verses, a 
manifest reference to form is, and he who hath read 
the Novum Organum wots well the emphasis I lay 
upon the discovery of forms. Mark, likewise, y® ac- 
crostick, in the first row of my french verses. 


Number 9. Peradventure the loist sonnet of 
[ 16] 

JACOB DE BRUCK, Angermundt 

Shakespeare, which commenceth, " Oh truant muse," 
looketh as well to the preceeding emblem as towards 
the one now before you, because the ring and the 
cord binding pillar to pillar make the letters Oh. In 
certain copies of the edition of Shakespeare's Son- 
nets, 1609, this word Oh will be found to bear my 
cipher dot thus, .Oh. 



(Lt nu: 6mr ct ^*flu jvSznJt *r^ JaXtLk^fiL' 
Jit .^£^ta,&i^ tuncfU Xmcc jjiiraSv, Ja./^Jiu 


Number io. The beacon on the hill found here 

indicates Bacon well enough and the trefoil held 
aloft may be interpreted, if you will read page 43, 
vol. 4 of the Letters and Life of Francis Bacon by 
James Spedding, London, 1868. 

[ 18] 


Henry Briggs to John Napier 

2 2ND January, 1905 
Because of the community of our studies, dear friend, 
our long assured friendship and steadfast goodwill, 
continued these manie years bygone, I have made so 
bold as to propound unto your honer certain doubts 
which now and in former years have crossed my 
mind touching the invention of logarithms. 

What I have to say unto you I would fain set 
down with this caveat, that you are not to imagine or 
think that I mean to question the sufficiency of your 
learning, or of those gifts in the mathematics where- 
with under Providence you were so happily endowed. 
To make a plain tale with you, my doubt ariseth 
upon this : In the preface of your book Mirifici Log- 
arithmorum Canonis Descriptio, you say, " Multis 
subinde in hunc finem perpensis nonnulla tandem 
inveni preclara compendia, alibi fortasse tractanda : " 
which Mr. Edward Wright did render in his transla- 
tion of your book as followeth : " I found at length 

[ 19] 


some excellent brief rules, to be treated of (perhaps) 
hereafter," and when Mr. Edward Wright did shew 
that to me I thought then, as now I think, that your 
words, with the clause, " To be treated of perhaps else- 
where," vail a hidden mystery. This light suspicion 
grew stronger on one occasion when I observed that 
the impress in your book, of two cupids, two rabbits, 
and the suspended fish, is in every way precisely like 
the one adopted for that mystical body of writing, 
published in our time, called William Shakespeare's 

It hath been said by writers of repute, that neither 
you nor I knew in fact that the logarithm had a base. 
How this standeth with you verily I know not, but 
for mine own part I may affirm that I was never igno- 
rant of it. In your Rabdologia, part 2, chapter 6, you 
shew the geometrical progression i, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 
128, 256, 512, 1024, and so following; and I cannot 
be persuaded that whilst you were thinking on the 
subject of logarithms, you did never put these over 
against the arithmetical progression o, i, 2, 3, 4, 5, 
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, thus: 

I o 

2 I 

4 . . 2 

8 3 

16 4 



32 5 

64 6 

128 7 

256 .... 8 

512 .. 9 

1024 10 

Now let the numbers in the right hand column be 
the logarithms of the numbers in the left hand col- 
umn. A child may discern that the addition of 2 + 5 
equaleth 7, which is the logarithm of 128, and that 
thereby 4, of which 2 is the logarithm, multiplieth 
32, of which 5 is the logarithm, and the result is 128, 
of which 7 is the logarithm. Equally lieth it patent 
to the eye, that 4 is the exponent of base 2, and so of 
all the other numbers in the right hand column. 
So, as it seemeth, both the conception of a logarithm 
as the exponent of an invariable base could not have 
been absent from your mind when you were making 
those computations, if you worked with your eyes 
open, as I trow well you didd. 

I will be bold to set down mine opinion, that never 
in History hath there been so strange a fact, as that 
you should have selected, instead of one of manie 
whole numbers for your base, the fraction represented 



And this, too, when it must have been known to you 

[ 21 ] 


that your tables could never in practice be generally 
useful, because they could not be infinite in extent. 
Impart, I prithee, unto me the reasons which guided 
you to so strange a choice ; and so with protestations 
of loving affection, 
I rest, 

your friend, willing to do you service 
when time serveth, 

Henry Briggs. 



John Napier to Henry Briggs 

30TH January, 1905 
I have shewn your recent letter to an inward friend 
of mine, who hath counselled me, yf I bee so minded, 
to give you contentment, so far as I am able, con- 
cerning those things which you desire to know. My 
wonder is not that you think those things strange 
whereof you write, but rather that others have not 
penetrated behind, or torn aside, the veil of that mys- 

In the year 1594, Master Antony Bacon, a man 
whom I profess I loved for his manie rare and excel- 
lent parts, and who merited better deservings than 
he got, writ unto me a letter wherein, inter alia, he 
said that his brother Francis was one of the most 
capable spirits of the age. Other things, which my 
modesty preventeth my setting down, he vented in 
his letter touching my gifts, specially in the mathe- 
matique. It contained, moreover, that which it im- 
porteth me not now to declare, but the conclusion 
of it was an invitation to visit them, that is to say, 

[ 23 ] 


Anthony and his brother, at Twickenham, where they 
then lodged. Mine own affaires did call me to Lon- 
don, as I now remember, in the Midsummer of that 
year ; and, having ended my business, I made the visit 
which I wrate I would do in my answer to Master 
Anthony his letter. I shall not trouble you with all 
that passed : let it be enough to say, that I was then 
shewn by Francis Bacon, Mirabile dictu, the verie 
series which you have recorded in your letter. 

The mystical properties of those numbers seemed 
unto me, then, to savour of arts magical rather than 
mathematical, and they laid such siege to my mind 
that I could for a long time think of nothing else. 
To make a short story of a long tale, we did enter 
into covenants reciprocal, whereby I should bestow 
the labour demanded for accurate computation of 
the tables, taking the worldly credit thereof for my 
reward ; and Francis Bacon on his part reserved unto 
himself the furnishing of two prefatory Latin poems 
and the impresses or sparta of my book. 

I care not how this standeth with my reputa- 
tion, but in the fulness of time al will be known; and 
what mattereth, therefore, a little anticipation. For a 
briefe space onlie have I known the true significa- 
tion of these verses prefixed to the first edition of 
my book. 




" Buchanane tibi Neperum adscisce sodalem, 
Floreat & nostris SCOTIA nostra viris : 
Nam velut ad Summum culmen perducta Poesis 
In te Stat, nee quo progrediatur habet : 
Sie etiam summum est culmen perducta Mathesis, 
Inque hoc stat, nee quo progrediatur habet." 

Mr. Francis Bacon took great delight in acrostics 
and such enigmas. 

Reading up the first letters of each line, one may 
be there noted, " I sin F. B.,' as one should say, I 
sign F. B. ; but this acrostic importeth more than 
that. At page 58 of my book, it will be observed 
that the first sine computed by me is the sine of 
nought degrees nought minutes. Hence the first 
sine, answering to fig. i, is a double cipher. Where- 
fore it admonishes the reader to search and find 
such two fold cipher. 

Forasmuch (dear friend) as you marvel at my 
choosing so strange a base, be it known unto you, 
that mine was no free election. 

For reasons which Bacon did never disclose unto 
me, he required such a base as would serve when 
taken from the base 10 afterwards adopted by you 
to segregate the number 9*632 1. 

Peradventure you understand why Shakespeare's 
Sonnets and Napier's logarithms have one common 

[ 25 ] 


device, and it needeth not great wit to read that 

''Magna est Veritas et praevalebit :'' and so this 
much have I opened unto you to the disablement of 
my worldlie fame and your better advertisement. 
Resting as always, 

your assured and loving friend, 

John Napier. 



Guy Fawkes to Francis Bacon 

February ist, 1905 
Jesus ! Maria ! 

There be little knowen on that earth I quit in haste, 
sirrah, which soon or late cometh not to the know- 
ledge of this place where now I am. Because of the 
nearness messengers are manie and other communi- 
cations not few. So is it that what I am about to 
make protestation of, belike is as well known to me 
as to you. I have read your fustian poem in Latin, 
which you shamed to own living, and in which, I 
trow, much pride you cannot take e'en now: I mean 
that one called In Homines Nefarios. Do you think 
because I have trailed a pike I have never thumbed 
a grammar? Aye, marry, that I have, and could hie 
my haec and hanc my hujus with the best of 'em. 
Long before your porrige-pated sallet-hearted fool of 
a Scotch King began to compound canticles in base 
Latin, to sing through his misbegotten nose, with 
as manie false quantities in 's verses, as false weights 
in old Antonio Volponis' bake shop in Turin. He 


it was who baked Musquette bullets in the crust of 
his quarterne loaves, and after weighing plucked 'em 
out again, chiding his workmen for his undoing be- 
cause they put raisins in plain bread. That he did, 
and you, it seemeth, weight your sour dough with the 
heavy lead of affected and thrasonical comparisons. 
My complaint goeth not to that, Gods woe ! Have 
not I endured burnings enow, effegies and bonfires 
enow, roastings enow, and am I to be told that a 
scurvie play, of your composition, is to be enacted 
on the fifth day of November next following, with 
my lines mouthed (I make no doubt) by a villanous 
player, doublet unbelted, hose ungartered, shoon un- 
kempt, and with swart wig and mustachios in the 
fashion of Stage villans. 

An the puppet doeth it that way, he shall answer 
to Guido Fawkes, yf he chance to take, as manie 
actors doe, " The Brimstone path " you once did 
prate of. 

Another thing, sirrah ! 

History taketh knowledge of those who layed the 
powder plot, Catesby and Percie. I justify it not. 
Wrong begets wrong and violence breedeth violence. 
They played for vengeance and domination — and 
they gat damnation : but History hath not recorded 
who layed the Counterplot, 

M. Catesby was a man, look you, who brooked not 
nay from any human being. When smock-livered 



Keyes was made a conspirator, then quod I, Catesby, 
mark it well, never yet foregathered thirteen men 
but one approved himself a Judas. Tush, answered 
he, these are not Jews or Spanish Dons, but true 
born Englishmen. He was right, I wrong; but mark 
the sequel. He would have Bates his servant one of 
us. I did mislike it. Serving men are not meet 
coequals for gentlemen and soldiers. He would have 
it so to our undoing, yea to our malign undoing. 
From the hour Bates swore on the Sacraments to 
be steadfast, we never had an instants peace. 

Confession must he make, go to ! Absolution 
must he have not once but hourly. 

Zounds ! the varlets Conscience was a disease ! 
One ghostly father contented not him, and Catesby 
nursed his humours. Now cometh in the travesmto. 
Not every cowl covers a monks head. Twas a brave 
stratagem, i' faith, to trick up Salisburys spy in Jesuit 
garb and so obtain Bates his confession. 

The rest was easy! but methinks the warning 
letter to Mountegle penned under your direction 
lacketh something. It should have borne the 
Kings own signet, because he did peruse it before 
it was sent and expounded it after. Fortunate is 
the countrie whose history is made according to the 
rules of theatric art. Sirrah, who laid the Counter- 
plot? Not craftie Cecil, dull Popham or Coarse 



You were that man, and I am, with what flourish 
you will, 

GuiDO Fawkes. 

Virgo et mater ^ Sancta Maria^ ora pro me. 



William Shakspeare to Francis Bacon 

Y^ Two & TwENTiE Day of Januarie 

A. D. 1905 
My humble dutie unto y^ Honer first in most humble 
wyse rememberd. 

Thare bee of late comen hither, Rite Honerable, 
divers beeings w'' I think good to advertise you of & 
thare uppon to desir yr frendlie advisement. 

So well as I can relate this is the matter, a thing 
which hath never falne out tofore. 

Was yeasterdaie se'enight the whyles I beying 
att the lintallage of my open window, passeth one 
of most Worshippful degree, who, after given mee 
gooden in strannge facion, brake with mee and 

" Hark yee ! Master Shakspeare the whole worlde 
reverences y' name & memorie so farre forth as they 
bee like to tare anie one in pieces who soe much as 
questioneth your learning and sufficiencie. Yet for 
mine owne part I can not wedd ye to your workes. 



" How Cometh yt to pass, quoth 'a, yt on that 
Earthe, ther ar soe manie and great reliques, of other 
menne, such as is lettars bookes and MSS. butt of 
you just none att al, saving onHe a wyll, peevish and 
paltrie, yll wrytton, yll spelt and yn everie hne be- 
wraying a weake minde and a weaker penne ? " 

Answer then made I coldHe unto this effeckt, yt 
for my wyll itt was made by a lawyer's clarke, and 
for the other thinges, I doubted not, I c*^ giv him satis- 
factio yf I listed, butt whyle wee were yet speaking 
comen two others. One a grave and reverent soule, 
noble of porte, and of visage majesticall, the other a 
drie and wizard-like sprite who flouted me verilie not 
by wordes butt grinning. 

Then spake the first, craving pardon courteslie 
sithence hee was a stranger : " Yee will give mee 
great contentment, forasmuch as I have long desired 
this knowledg, yf yee wyll expound unto mee ye 
plaies of Macbeth, King Lear, Hamlet and Othello. 
Meeseemes and unto others with whom I have for- 
tuned to speake, that these y'' chiefest plaies bee 
poesie, in forme onlie dramaticall, butt ar, of a veri- 
tie, parabolic or inclosed. If yea, wherefore keep ye 
those secretts longer ? " 

Or ever I c^ make replication unto him, straight- 
waie thrust in the other, " Ha ! ha ! ha ! ha ! Master 
Shakspeare knoweth itt well, knoweth yt well. Be- 
like hee wyll tell you, belike hee wyll tell you," saie- 



ing again his wordes with mocking derision and manie 
quaint gesturings and posturings. 

" Riddle mee this, worthie Master Shakspeare, ridle 
me thys: My Lo Hamlet hath madness when the 
winde bee Nor-Nor-West, but when ye winde is South- 
erlie Hee knoweth a hawke from a herne-shawe. 

"The goodlie Sir John, ho! ho! the goodlie Sir 
John Falstaff, hee hath reade the causes of appo- 
plexie in Galen, hee hath, wher bee that text. Edifie 
us thus much, great poet, what pag, what booke, read- 
est hee that ? 

" But mee noe buts, and yf mee no yfs, out of thy 
vast stores of learning putt in ure a little." Much 
more to the self same tenour railed hee on, tho' little 
I marked him, reflecting the whyle what I should 
sale to his manifeste scorning. 

Nowe troth to speake I am not easlie mooved to 
anger as yr Honor knoweth, butt for the nonce, clean 
forgott I, that neither hadd I then, nor have I nowe 
nor ever hadd I, anie the least knowledg of these 
particularities. I mislike much to confess that, in my 
choler, I did promise them both to-morrow weeke a 
parfitt exposcion touching those matters wherein they 
did questone mee. 

Soe with what speed convenientlie yee maie let mee 
have your honors aunser back againe. 

resting y' bounden 

Will Shakspeare. 
[33 ] 


Francis Bacon to William Shakspeare 

1905. Jan. 24, TuESDAiE 
Deare and loving friend, 

Out of question thou hast 
put thyself in a posture of defence, when defiance had 
been better, but to chide thee I doe forbear ; and the 
rather because thou hast been alwaies of approved 
discretion, unmatched faithfulness, and of all plaiers 
that have been these five hundred yeres or better the 
non-pareil. For hast thou not been principall in a 
long plaied comedie wherein tho' the lines were few, 
and the cues not hard to hold in memorie, yet the 
action of the plaie demanded on thy part that which 
is most difficle, seemlie silence and seeming veritie. 

Not to all is it given to plaie a great part after the 
scenes of Earthlie Tragedie & Comedie have closed, 
and for this, good Will, thou maist thank mee. 

But rest, perturbed Spirit : soon maist thou lay 
aside thy buskin an thy masque, and the part of the 
world's dramatick poet will be taken by another. 



To him of right it appertaineth, as in due and fit 
Season shal be shewn, not indeed by argument but 
lawful evidence. My digression is from the purpose : 
I prithee pardon it. 

The challenge propounded unto thee I doe con- 
ceive admitteth on thy part of three courses. 

Firstlie, thou maist alleage (and this is open to con- 
struction) that, upon more advised thought, thy long 
silence shall not be broken. Second, thou maist an- 
swer in part and defer the rest to thine owne appointed 
opportunities. Third, thou maist disclose all accord- 
ing as I now direct thee, taking heed that neither 
directly nor indirectly thou utterest suggestio falsi 
nor MENDAciA VISA. It is not thy province to supplye 
mindes for thy buzzing questioners, who would faine 
drinke at the fountaine and are too slothful to kneel 
at the rivulet. This bee my counsel in few : answer 
the scoffer, and let the wise man abide thy time and 
abate the edge of his o'er mastering importunitie. 
The wisdom whereof will appear in this, that his wish 
runeth deep : his is a speech of touch ; it goeth to 
the maine in that it importeth more than it expresseth. 

Redargution of the four idols cannot be made but 
by these plaies, and contrariwise the expounding of 
the plays reveals my idols. Thou knowest well, none 
so well as thou, how often I denied thee entrance 
into my arcana, slighted thee off, telling thee point- 
device, such things were not for thee, nor for that 

[ 35 ] 


yeastie age wherein we lived and had our mortal 

And albeit now, so is it that I care not greatlie, 
yet would I have the aenigmatic plaies interpreted, 
vera inductio^te if it mought bee. The question hath 
been moved, and I give thee matter wherewithal to 
answer it. Make use of it as it pleaseth thee. 

For the passage from Galen which thy wizard-like 
sprite demandeth with so great peremptoriness, marry 
methinks it were enough to answer, that there is a 
boke which he may rede, if he bee well seen in the 
Greek tongue, set forth yf I mistake not in Venice, 
which hath this singularitie, that the paging thereof 
is manifest errore. 

Thou maist know the boke by the impresse or 
Embleme of an Anchor and a Dolphin, and thou 
maist further know yt, when thou comest to page 120 
wrongly numbered no. 

Note that the pages, as then custom was, are on 
every alternate leafe, and turn to the obverse side of 
true page 158 and untoe that part which beginneth 

dv irdaav airoTrK'q^Lav dA.A.a. 

This Galen was a learned and authentick fellow, 
and I avowch that the fat knight was noe lesse, yf I 
bee not deceived. 

It cannot bee denied in reason that the South wind 
when gentle is not a great collector of cloudes, but yt 



is often clear, specialle yf it bee of short continu- 
ance; nor can it bee gainsayed that when yt contin- 
ueth yt bringeth on raine. (I meane in the Northern 
Countries as Denmark.) A heron when it soareth 
high, so as sometimes to flie above a low cloud, 
shows wind ; but Kites (and your hawk hath the same 
habitude) flying high shows fair weather. 

It followeth thereupon that in the gentle Southerly 
wind both hawk and hernshaw are low flying birds, 
and the cause of yt is this, that your Nor-nor-west 
and Nor-west winds bee high and boisterous, which 
the heron much delighteth in ; contrariwise the hawk 
or kite and Falcon. All this may be reade by your 
prolocutor (yf so bee it he wishes) in the History of 
the Windes at divers pages, writ by me, and pub- 
lisht long after thou, good friend, hadst quitted the 
earthlie stage for ever. 

Goe to, then, is it not easie to discern Lord Ham- 
let's drift ? 

He is but mad in a gale, but when the wind is 
Southerly he knoweth a hawk from a hernshaw. 

For him who flouted thee let this suffice. 

For the question remaining, it asketh a strong wit 
to be able to propound it, and I misdoubt whether in 
short compass it can be answered. But to the pur- 
pose. These plaies stand in the folio not as I would 
have them each in his own due order; their sequence 
should bee Macbeth, Lear, Hamlet, Othello : and I 

[37 ] 


marvaille greatlie that it hath not been noted hitherto 
how great is their resemblance to certain cognate and 
parallel things in my Novum Organum. 

The idols which bewitch the human intellect are 
four, and I did nominate them with care, as followeth, 

The Idol of the Tribe, 
The Idol of the Cave, 
The Idol of the Market Place, 
The Idol of the Theatre.' 

Now note that in common speech all are rightlie 
pronounced save onlie Lear, which should be called 
Lair not Leer, as habit now is. Heedful care did I 
take to indicate in manie of my writings the true 
sound of Britain's ancient King, but to no purpose. 
Thus I spelled rare-boiled eggs rear-boiled eggs, as 
witnesseth my Sylva Syl varum, yet such is the in- 
veterate custom of men, once wrong never right. 

This appeareth of little import, yet hath it much. 

The three letters Mac. hath been time out of mind, 
among Gaelic races, a tribal designation. Mac Der- 
mott of the tribe of Dermott, Mac Donald of the tribe 
of Donald, Mac Beth of the tribe of Beth. That Lair 
meaneth cave or den of a wild beast, needeth not 
amplitude of argumentation. 

For Hamlet, canst thou bethink thee of anie ham- 
let in England that hath not his market place, and 

* Novum Orgamim^ Book I, Aphorism 39. 



needst thou, therefore, to aske under which subdivi- 
sion it falleth ? 

The Idols of the Theatre are not innate, nor secretly 
insinuated into the human intellect. They arise from 
the perverted laws of demonstration, from wild fables 
and oracular traditions. Thou, good friend, art in 
thine own person the greatest theatrical idol ; and 
having regard to thy long continuance, Time should 
be depicted not with his scythe and hour glass, but 
with a mallet or beetle, to crush and destroy mental 
idolatry, I did essaie the task, but failed. 

Mankind would not note that Othello is practised 
upon in plaine view of all. That lago pileth up the af- 
firmatives, and the Moore asketh not for the negative 

Verie well, the openly perverted laws of demonstra- 
tion that plaie condemns ; and is it credible, thinkest 
thou, that soe easie a lesson hath not been applied to 
thee, good Will, par example ? Let the idols and the 
plaies be now putt in their sequent co-ordination. 

Macbeth .- The Tribe 

Lear The Cave 

Hamlet The Market Place 

Othello The Theatre 

Of the idol of the tribe I sale : 
The human intellect from his own property easilie 
supposes greater order and equality in things than it 

[ 39] 


findeth. The human intellect draweth all things to 
agree with those things in which it taketh delight; 
and although there bee greater weight and power of 
instances contrariwise, yet doth it not observe or 
distinguish these things, or dispiseth them or by friv- 
olous distinctions rejecteth or removes them from the 
path, but not without great and pernicious prejudice. 

The human intellect is specially moved by that 
which doth suddenlie strike it, and becometh filled 
with phantasies and fantastick dreams. It runeth not 
to instances remote and hetrogeneous whereby axioms 
are tried as by fire. The mind presseth on and on, 
but in vain. 

Such, then, are the idols of the tribe which arise 
from the spirit of man beeing of an equal and uniform 
substance, supposing greater regularitie than exist- 
eth, from its own preoccupations, from its narrow- 
ness, from its restless motion, from the infusion of 
its wishes, from incompetence of the senses, and from 
its impressions. 

It hath been noted by manie, that the Scotch, 
otherwise a sedate and serious people of grave rather 
than mirthful natures, bee very prone to superstition. 
Macbeth is much given to it. The witch's prophecy 
on the blasted heath strooke suddenlie and sharplie 
upon that man's veine ; he stoppeth not to enquire 
whether the weyard women were phantasmes or real. 
They met him on the day of his successes, and there 



was more in them than mortal knowledge. " Quod 
voluimus facile credimus^' sayeth Caesar, and thou 
mayest there see the superstitious tribal idolator 
bowing and genuflecting before his own wild fancies. 

This state of mind agreeth well with the sentence 
from Novum Organum, " The human intellect is spe- 
cially moved by that which doth suddenlie strike it." 
Mark his second stage : he drew all thinges to agree 
with that prophecy wherein he took delight. Mark 
again the third stage, which this exclaim connoteth : 
*' Better be with the dead whom we to gayne our 
peace have sent to peace, then on the torture of the 
minde to lye in restless ecstacie." 

Thou seest there how the mind presseth on and 
on, but in vain. Observe, last of all, how the infu- 
sion of his own wishes did constrain him to believe 
that Birnam Wood could never come to Dunsinane. 
Failing at the first to try the witch's words by the 
touchstone of reason, he uttereth that despairing 
cry: "And be these juggling fiends no more be- 
lieved, that palter with us in a double sense ; that keep 
the word of promise to our eare, and break it to our 

For the present let this suffice touching the idol 
of the Tribe. 

I did conceive the idol of the Cave to be moulded 
out of particular contemplations of the individual 
man. For particular contemplations darkeneth the 

[41 ] 


intellect as do caves and caverns light. I did imagine 
a type or model in the ancient King, of the uni- 
versal man, dividing his kingdom among three — two 
unworthy, one worthy. 

That kingdom might be his time, the onlie certain 
possession of mortal man. Let Cordelia personify 
useful studies and contemplations, these he banish- 
eth ; and Regan and Goneril be types of useless 
pursuits, vain philosophy, and the arid logic of the 
schoolmen. The King trusteth to appearances from 
the determinate bent of his own mind, takes re- 
fuge at last in his actual cave and den, with reason 
dethroned and a fool for his couch-fellow. This 
be the moral thereof i distrust thine own hasty and 
predeterminate opinions. 

The idol of the Market Place is fashioned out of 
those abberations which men have in consort or 
society. It was in my youth that I did ponder and 
weigh the advantages of an active and contempla- 
tive life, and it seemed that there mought be un- 
folded by means of a drama that perpetual struggle 
between wish and duty which is as old as history. 

Hamlet doth portray and embody the new philo- 
sophy, the philosophy of true induction, which gath- 
ereth knowledge as the bee doth honey from flower 
to flower. 

The usurping king, his uncle, is a lively represen- 
tation of the dusty arid, yea bastard philosophy, of 



the schoolmen, of Duns Scotus et id omne genus ; 
that philosophy of logic which under the leadership 
of the great Stagirite enslaved the human mind and 
made mankind bondsmen for lo these many cen- 
turies. Note how the parable in Hamlet runeth out. 
Polonius from the signification of the term stands 
for policy or statecraft ; Ophelia, as her name de- 
noteth in the Greek word oc^eXeta, meaneth profit ; 
Laertes her brother, a derivative from the Greek, 
doth denote pleasure-seeking leisure ; Gertrude the 
Queen from the German words signifieth All-truth. 
If Hamlet, who doth personify the new philosophy, 
shall intermarry with Profit, thereby he shall be- 
come the son-in-law of Policy, the brother-in-law of 
Leisure, and the husband of Worldly Advantage. 

Will he kill the false philosophy, that is the King, 
and divorce Truth from his foul embraces ? I trow 
not. The way of the world runeth not in that direc- 
tion. Prince Hamlet recks well the penalties of delay, 
knoweth well that duty enjoineth upon him one 
course, his advancement and worldly honours de- 
mandeth the other. The contemplative life alone can 
destroy the King, the active life of business and 
affaires offereth present rewards, and so halting upon 
the edge of opportunity suffers destruction for him- 
self in the fulfillment of his destiny. What hath this 
to doe with the Market Place ? Marry this life is a 
market place where some come to trade and make 

[43 ] 


their profit, and some come to utter their commodi- 
ties, and some come to look on. 

My Lord Hamlet looked on too long. 

I did well conceive another thing of which, I make 
bold to think, the tragedie of Hamlet giveth some 
small adumbration. 

You shall understand that the spirit of man is 
God's lamp. There be in his creatures a triune for- 
mation: the body, the mind, and the soul. A platform 
of these I do set forth in that play. The body is the 
tragedie's outward garb or semblance, the words of 
the players the action of the characters, the move- 
ment of the incidents. 

The mind of the plaie is the play within the play, 
wherein Hamlet caught the conscience of the King ; 
the soul is the parable therein contained, as hath 
been already in good part expounded. 

It were good thy interlocutor looked for himself 
somewhat more narrowly, and percase he may then 
descrie for himself something which for this present 
I do reserve. 

For the idol of the Theatre there needeth little 
more than hath been already touched upon. The 
predominant note of my parable therein is sounded 
in this line, 

" Sweet, I love thee, and when I love thee not chaos is come 

Othello the Moore, model of force or power, is 


mated with pure reason, of which pure reason Desde- 
mona is the type. Power and reason, matchless twain, 
are separated, o'erthrown, destroyed by trust in de- 
ceitful appearances, openly insinuated into the mind 
of one, by the false logic and damned arts of lago. 
Himself doth hold and contain the principle of 
human not supernatural evil, (if such there be,) and 
the perverse laws of demonstration, which last are in 
themselves the greatest human evil. 

To draw to an end with thee, good friend, craving 
pardon for so long a letter, seest thou not that each 
and every of these four plaies hath for a theme the 
peril of trusting wholly to outward appearances .f* 
Macbeth trusteth to the outward seeming of black- 
hearted divination; Lear to the mouth-made vows of 
two treacherous daughters. My Lord Hamlet is wiser, 
but not wise enough; he would have grounds more 
relevant than the ghost's word, but trusted still that 
the time was not ripe for the destruction of the swag- 
gering usurper. Othello, as hath been said, (though 
the net was spread in the presence of the bird,) put 
trust in forged circumstance and linked dissimula- 

How much ought men, therefore, to be warned that 
they put not their trust (I mean this not harshly) in 
the art of the player; I mean in sooth in thee, good 
friend, heeding not that they are hearing from thy 
lips the philosophy of another. 



Thus have I in part answered thy friend, the which, 
if thou impartest it, it shall be to his contentment, I 
no whit doubt, and so I rest thy loving, 

Fran. Bacon. 





The Emblems of de Bruck, referred to herein, published 
1616, maybe seen at the following Libraries: — 

British Museum Library, 

Konigliche Bibliothek, Berlin. 

Konigliche und Universitats Bibliothek, Breslau. 

Stadt Bibliothek, Breslau. 

Grossherzogliche Hofbibliothek, Darmstadt. 

Offentliche Bibliothek, Dresden. 

Kaiserliche Universitats und Landes Bibliothek, Strasbourg. 

Herzogliche Bibliothek, Wolfenbiittel. 

Hof und Staats Bibliothek, Munich. 

Det Store Kongelige Bibliothek, Copenhagen. 

" The dram of Eale doth all the noble substance of a doubt 
To his own scandal." 

Hamlet, Act i, Scene 2, is a most notable crux, and with- 
out the eel emblem of de Bruck it is impossible to expound 
it. I take the meaning of the passage to be this : a dram is 
a draught, and a draught is a drawing : see Gospel accord- 



ing to St. John, chap. xxi. Therefore the drawing of the 
eel doth beget all the noble substance of a doubt. The last 
sentence, to his own j candle, manifestly refers to de Bruck's 
Emblem 13, which Bacon's letter interprets. 

But for this letter of the Chevalier de Bruck, I should be 
inclined to affirm in all confidence that no such man ever 
existed ; but seeing that he writes from the other world, 
needs must we abandon doubts and cavillings. It will re- 
quire supernatural evidence to efface my unchanging belief 
that the pretended persons to whom he dedicates his strange 
book were all and every of them mythical. As the book is of 
considerable rarity, I myself never having met with but one 
perfect copy, it were well that some one set forth hereafter 
a reproduction of it in facsimile. The plates interpreted by 
Bacon are, as will be seen, reproduced, but it must not be 
supposed that those are the only ones possessing for us an 
abiding interest. The part which emblems play in the great 
scheme of induction which Bacon lived to perfect is not at 
all well understood. Though subordinate to his main de- 
sign, their office is of great utility. I feel that I am in a 
position to declare that de Bruck surpasses all the rest in 
historic and literary interest. The full title of de Bruck's 
volume is as follows : — 

Les Emblemes Moraulx et Militaires 
Du Sieur Jacob De Bruck Angermundt 
Nouvellement mis en Lumiere 


Strasbourg, Par Jacob de Heyden Graveur, L'an M D C.XVI. 

It must not be confounded with de Bruck's " Emblemata 
Politica," published three years later. The book ought to 



contain, besides the Latin verses, fifty verses in French, 

or German, as the case may be. The Secant Emblem (No. 

29 in de Bruck, No. 8 here) has the following verses in 

French : — 

" Le fourmys qui d'un soing grandement mesnager 
Amasse tout I'este ce qu'il lui faut I'hyver 
Et ces hoyaux tranchants monstrent que qui travaille 
D'un labeur assidu, il devient abondant 
En tout forte de biens, mais qui se-va-meslant 
Des affaires d'autruy n'acquiert pas une maille." 

Reading upward, first letter of each line, we obtain the 
acrostic to which Bacon refers, "Ded eal," that is to say, 
dead eel. The one in Napier's Logarithms, quoted in Napier's 
letter, is like the one in the first verses of the ''Rape of 
Lucrece," except in "Lucrece" the reading in first row is 

" From the besieged Ardea all in post, 
Borne by the trustlesse wings of false desire, 
Lust-breathed Tarquin leaves the Roman host, 
And to Colatium beares the lightlesse fire, 
Which in pale embers hid, lurkes to aspire, 
And girdle with embracing flames, the wast 
Of Collatine's fair love, Lucrece the chast." 

" F. B. law a 0," means Francis Bacon's law a cipher. It 
would be puerile to point out all these idle toys. They are 
almost countless in Shakespeare's Sonnets, because though 
they may command assent to the proposition, they do not 
take hold of the rem. 

Bacon did not disdain the use of pictures, that is, em- 
blems, because, as he said, they reduced ideas intellectual 
to things sensible, his words are : " Embleme deduceth con- 
ceptions intellectual to images sensible, and that which is 



sensible more forcibly strikes the memory and is more easily 
imprinted than that which is intellectual." (Advancement 
of Learning, Book v, chap. 5.) Nor did he disdain the use 
of allegory. I call to mind a book, edited by a writer whose 
name for the moment escapes me, who has been at great 
pains to demonstrate what is patent enough, one would 
think, that Shakespeare is mentioned under the title W. S., 
a player, in a book published in 1594, called '' Willobie his 
Avisa." If that writer had been gifted with the least scien- 
tific imagination he would have taken the name of the 
heroine of this book and substituted for the letter V (Roman 
numeral 5) the number 5. Her name would then have stood, 
A 5 is a, and if he had then read the sixth book of the " De 
Augmentis Scientiarum " of Francis Bacon, he would have 
discovered that in a cipher therein described aaaaa = A, 
(a five is a), and had he then gone further and tested the 
fivefold cipher in Willobie's volume by the key Bacon gives, 
his conjectures, instead of being of trivial interest, would 
have been of substantial advantage to mankind. But to shew 
these evident truths to thick and thin Shakespeareans is, 
as has been said, " like giving medicine to the dead." 

Moreover, if the allegory had been truly discerned, that 
the fivefold cipher personified as Avisa, like her could not 
be conquered, it would have spared the world that mass of 
rubbish called the fivefold cipher story, which has bewil- 
dered and amused this age. 

I have said that the emblems constitute a subordinate part 
of Bacon's system of induction. What his system really was 
is not well understood by those who never read the *' Novum 
Organum," nor is it comprehended by those who cannot 
plead that excuse. There is plenary evidence that Bacon's 

[ so] 


contemporaries had as little comprehension of it as the men 
of our time. 

" It deserveth not to be read in schools but to be freighted 
in the ship of fools," said Coke. 

" It is Uke the peace of God," said King James. *' It 
passeth all understanding." 

The so-called Baconians, professing profound belief in the 
proposition that the Primate of all Literatures is Bacon and 
not Shakespeare, have been as guilty as their fellows the 
Shakespeareans. Wilfully have they closed their eyes to the 
fact, for fact it is, that the dramas of Shakespeare were 
written for a twofold purpose, first to demonstrate how help- 
less is all logical process whatsoever in the interpretation of 
their origin and meaning. Secondly, and this is their fun- 
damental purpose, to act as the fourth part of the Great 
Instauration : the actual types and models described on 
page 28 of the "Novum Organum" (ist edition, 1620), and 
therefore, of course, to serve as tables of induction. The 
Baconians instead of taking up this obvious position have 
preferred, amid the scoffing and jeers of the world, to argue 
their case with nothing in their hands but the inept syllo- 
gism, with nothing except the method of Aristotle which 
Bacon wrote to overthrow. What has been the result .? I 
think I may say without arrogance, a trickle of trivialities 
into a puddle of platitudes. The doors of the temple stood 
open for them, but not one of them so much as crossed the 
threshold. Had they been true disciples of their master, 
that is, inductive philosophers, they would have begun 
by coordinating the plays of Shakespeare with the pre- 
rogative instances of Bacon. The mode of doing this I now 



Play Shakespeare Instance Bacon 

1. Timon of Athens. Solitary. 

Timon, disgusted with mankind, takes refuge in his cave. 

2. The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Migrating. 

Valentine sets out on his travels. 
(Act I, Scene i.) 

3. Midsummer Night's Dream. Free and predominant. 

Puck is freed from all human restraints. 

4. Titus Andronicus. Twilight or weakest. 

The weakest and the worst of Shakespeare's dramas. 

5. Henry VI. Lesser form. 

The only play which has three parts. 

6. Comedie of Errors. ) ^^ . ^ 

Physical resemblance 

Twelfth Night. 

The comedy element in each of these plays turns upon 

the physical likeness of the two Dromios and of Viola 

and Sebastian. 
The Winter's Tale. 

n X.Y i Singular. 


These plays are singular because, in the first, Bohemia 
has a seacoast, and the second ends with that strange 
prophecy commented upon in the interpretation of 
de Bruck's Emblem No. 5. Moreover, the blank verse 
in both plays differs widely from the versification 
elsewhere used. 
Richard III. Deviating or monstrous. 

The King a hunchback and a monster of cruelty. 
Troilus and Cressida. Bordering. 

This play is on the borderland betwixt history, comedy, 
and tragedy, and therefore is not indexed in the first 
folio as belonging to any one of the three classes into 
which the plays are divided. 

[ 53 ] 


10. Hamlet. 

Macbeth. . 

> Power. 



By common consent the most powerful plays. 

11. Much Ado about Nothing. Companionship and 

Enemies become lovers, lovers enemies. 

12. King Henry V. Subjunctive or Marriage. 

The marriage of King Henry V. of England to Kath- 
arine of France. 

13. King John. Treaty. 

The theme of this play is the treaty with France. 

14. Romeo and Juliet. Cross. 

Two lovers crossed in love. 

15. King Henry Vn I. Divorce. 

The King divorces his Queen, Katharine of Arragon. 

16. Coriolanus. Door or gate. 

Caius Marcius is killed at the gates of Rome. 

17. Richard H. Summoning. 

An outlawed man is in this play summoned to do fealty. 

18. Taming of the Shrew. Road. 

Petruchio's Kate is tamed by travel on the Road. 

19. Measure for Measure. Substitution. 

Angelo's wife substitutes herself for his mistress. 

20. Merchant of Venice. Dissecting. 

Shylock would cut his pound of flesh. 

21. Love's Labours lost. Verge or limitation. 

The characters are forbidden to come within the Verge 
of the Court. 



22. Antony and Cleopatra. Course or water. 

Antony flies from the battle in Queen Cleopatra's 

23. All's Well that Ends Well. Dose. 

The theme of this play is a dose of medicine. 

24. As You Like It. Wrestling. 

The heels of Charles the wrestler and Rosalind's heart 
tripped up in the same wrestling bout. 

25. Julius Caesar. Intimating or prophecy. 

Beware the ides of March, says the soothsayer. 

26. Henry IV. ) ^ , 

> General use. 

Merry Wives of Windsor. ) 

These plays have characters in common, Prince, Fal- 

staff, Poins, and Bardolph. 

27. Tempest. Magical. 

Prospero : " Lo, here I break my magic staff, bury it 
certain fathoms in the ground, and deeper than 
plummet ever sounded Fll drown my book.^^ 

The Instances are set down as Bacon records them in the 
" Novum Organum," and in his own order. Their names are 
translated, in the main, as Spedding translates them, but I 
prefer Montague's translation of the word "luctae," wrest- 
ling, not strife, in order to bring out the identity of " As 
You Like It " with Bacon's Instance No. 23. The order of 
the plays is changed from the order which obtains in the 
first folio, and made to conform to Bacon's Prerogative In- 
stances. Whosoever shall take it upon himself to declare, 
in the magisterial manner of Shakespearean scholars, that 
my grouping of plays and Instances is an exercise of the 
fancy, will be obliged, in the fulness of time, to retract his 

[ 54 ] 


" The old need not therefore be true, 
O brother man, nor yet the new ! 
But still awhile the old thought retain, 
But yet consider it again." 


" Argument can make a fact seem strange, but it cannot 
make it not a fact." I have said enough, perhaps more than 
enough, to indicate my belief that the plays of Shakespeare 
and the Instances of Bacon are things to be done, and not 
the framework of casuistry, be it never so subtle. 

William Shakespeare is the possessor of the proudest lit- 
erary title in history. Whosoever shall oust him from that 
possession must do so by the strength of his own para- 
mount rights, and not by the weakness of the title of the 
" Bard of Avon," so called. It may be argued that the pro- 
duction of a book with William Shakespeare's name printed 
thereon as the author is not legal evidence of his author- 
ship, because there exists no writing, letter, or manuscript 
to support that title, and because his name was printed on 
other books to the authorship of which no claim on his be- 
half is now made ; nevertheless, I should suppose his title 
to all his works to be prima facie good. How it will be when 
the manuscripts and the new plays shall have been pro- 
duced is another question. It may be said, however, and 
the remark is a sentimental one, that it matters little who 
was the author, so long as those matchless writings, called 
the plays of Shakespeare, are the property of mankind. 
Men may say. Communis error facit jus. Would it were so. 
But the fact is that those plays are chained by inseverable 
cables to Francis Bacon's Prerogative Instances, and I leave 
this part of the subject with this defiant observation : that 

[55 ] 


neither the plays of Shakespeare nor the Instances of 
Bacon can be expounded by any human being except and 
unless the one be read in reference to the other. 

Had believers in Bacon made a classification such as I 
have shewn, they might indeed have failed to convince the 
world of the truth of their postulate, but, on the other hand, 
should have saved themselves much merited contempt. But 
if men reject the obvious, how can they expect to grapple 
with the complex. 

Emblems in the following books can be identified as a 
substantive part of Bacon's inductive philosophy. In saying 
this I do not mean to affirm that the emblems in their en- 
tirety were devised by him, but that all of the books now 
mentioned contain plates of his invention. 





J. Camerarius. 

Symbolorum et Emblematum. 


J. Cats. 

Silenus Alcibiadis sive Proteus. 





J. Bornitius. 

Emblemata Ethico Politica. 


J. de Bruck. 

Emblemata Moralia et Bellica. 


J. de Bruck. 

Emblemata Politica. 


J. de Brunes. 




Emblemata Amatoria. 



Emblemata Moralia. 


Oraeus Viridarium. 


G. Rollenhagen. 






J. Typotius. 

Symbola Divina et Humana. 


0. Vsenius. 

Amorum Emblemata. 




M. Claud Paradin. Devises Royales. 1622 

Van de Velde. Emblemata. N. D. 

Of these, de Bruck and Bornitius are the most important, 
the former for reasons already given. The latter because 
plates 7, 23, 44, 45, 49 (Sylloge I), and plates 9 and 36 
(Sylloge II) contain authentic likenesses of Bacon, whilst 
plates 17, 24, and 38 (Sylloge I) and 16 and 31 (Sylloge 
II) contain, as I believe, portraits of his private secretary, 
Sir Thomas Meautys. 

With the exception of Bornitius, the foregoing volumes 
bear date within the period of Bacon's lifetime, that is to 
say between 1560 and 1626. I have not met with an earlier 
edition of Bornitius than 1659. My conjecture, however, is 
that the manuscript came into the hands of Gruter with 
other manuscripts of Bacon's, published by him in the year 


The part which logarithms play in Bacon's system of in- 
duction is an important one. They bear the relation to the 
** Novum Organum " which the heart does to the body. In 
Hamlet's phrase, **they are the heart of his mystery, not 
easilie to be plucked out." 

It will require more space than is here at my command to 
present in adequate form their just relation to the body of 
Bacon's work. " Investigation," said he, ** has the best result 
when it begins in physics and terminates in mathematics." 
" To find the form of the given nature, or the true specific 
difference^ or the nature engendering nature, or the fountain 
of Emanation, is the labour and duty of human knowledge." 



Foreseeing, therefore, that he must ultimately rest upon a 
mathematical foundation, that true specific difference which 
he denominates the form, he cast about him for some origi- 
nal discovery in the mathematics. He had noticed, as early 
as 1594, the peculiarities of the two series of progressions, 
arithmetical and geometrical, pointed out in Briggs's letter, 
and had discovered the principle underlying all tables of log- 
arithms. He knew that any table must have a base, and 
that " a logarithm is the exponent or power to which an in- 
variable number, called the base, must be raised in order to 
produce the number of which it is the logarithm." He had 
in fact at that time subtracted from the base 10, which is 
the base of the Briggs or common table of logarithms, the 
base e-i, which is the fraction 


and is the base of Napier s system. Thereby he had ob- 
tained the true specific difference between the two bases, 
namely: the five numbers 9-6321. . . . and thus completed 
the demonstration that those numbers constitute his form. 
As a consequence of this he laid down the axiom in the 
" Novum Organum " that the form must increase when the 
given nature increases, decrease when the given nature 
decreases, and be perpetually absent when the given nature 
is absent. 

It is for this reason that Briggs's logarithms outnumber 

For this reason Briggs's base is larger than Napier's, and 
finally, for this reason, in a metaphysical sense, logarithms 
vanish when the bases disappear. When, in the edition of 
the sonnets of Shakespeare of 1609, ^^^ pronoun '*thy" is 

[ 58 ] 


constantly misprinted "their," he well expected that poster- 
ity would read the first line of Sonnet 122 thus : — 

" Their guift,, their tables are within my braine 
Full charactered with lasting memorie," 

and would draw the just and necessary inference, that the 
double commas after ''guift" should be construed: "Two 
come as their tables." 

That is to say ; Briggs's tables, Napier's tables. 

Great would have been his surprise — for he devised em- 
blem after emblem containing logs — could he have antici- 
pated that nigh three hundred years would go by before 
even the given nature of his system of induction could be 
estabUshed. This is not the place to present the indubita- 
ble evidence of what is here asserted. It may be enough to 
declare that the original evidence, documentary and other- 
wise, exists, and shall, to use a parliamentary phrase, in due 
course be laid upon the table. 

It has been said that John Napier did not know that his 
logarithms had a base. A quotation from a standard work 
will show this: "We should premise that in comparing 
Napier's logarithms with those to the base e-^ (which is the 
base required by his reasoning, though the conception of a 
base was not formally known to him)'' (The Construction 
of the Wonderful Canon of Logarithms, William Rae Mac- 
Donald's translation, 1889, page 90.) 

It is a notable fact that what are called in the text-books 
Naperian logarithms are not Napier's logarithms at all. 
Naperian logarithms, whose use, for the most part, is con- 
fined to analytical mathematics, are calculated to base c, 
that is to say, 2 7 1828 1828 5. I suggest that this base has 



been adopted by mathematicians in preference to e*^, the 
fractional form given above, owing to the impossibility of 
deducing Napier's true base unless recourse be had to a 
common table of logarithms. That Napier's true base is e"^, 
the subjoined formula demonstrates : — • 


Sine 45° = — = 7071068 

Napier's log. thereof — 3465735 
Let P = Napier's base (P < i) 
Then P^^^stss ^ 7071 068 

Log. 10 P3465735 :::: L^g^ jq 707IO68 

3465735 log. 10 P = 1-849485 

1-849485 - 1 505 1 5 

: • Log. 10 P = = 

3465735 3465735 

Log. 10 (Log. 10 P) = 177580 - 539796 

= 7-637784 = Log. 10 (4342945) 

Log. 10 P = 4342495 = Log. 10 € 

27I828I8285 < 

Felicitous is the lot of the English man of letters who 
constitutes himself guardian of William Shakespeare's lit- 
erary reputation. Mr. Sydney Lee, a renowned writer, who 
depends in part on his fancy for his facts, and thereby 
has been much bepraised by the unthinking, is authority 
for the following statement : " He (Bacon) knew nothing of 
Napier's discovery of the logarithms." (Great Englishmen 
of the Sixteenth Century, page 248.) So far as Mr. Lee is 



concerned, Napier's letter states the facts with pitiless accu- 
racy; but dehors the record, as one may say, there are 
extant two books which utterly refute Mr. Lee's placid dic- 
tum: {a) Napier's Logarithms, ist edition, 1614, annotated 
in Bacon's handwriting, {b) Briggs's Logarithms, 1624, 
wherein Bacon with his own pen has verified some of 
Briggs's calculations. 

The irony which pursues men who " know so much that 
is not so " will be borne in on Mr. Lee's mind hereafter. 


" Jesus ! Maria ! " is an invocation, not an oath. The 
practice was common among Roman Catholics of that time. 

The full title of the poem Fawkes refers to is as fol- 
lows : " In homines nefarios, qui scelere, ausuq : Immani, 
Parliamenti iampridem habendi domum, pulvere bombardico 
evertere, sunt machinati, scilicet quinto Novembris, 1605." 
The book was printed at Cambridge by the press of Legat, 
in the year 1605, and consists of 22 pages. Although there 
are no specimens extant of Bacon's acknowledged Latin 
verses, the internal evidence of this poem proves that it 
could have emanated from no other man. When the whole 
case is set forth, substantial agreement upon this point may 
be expected. It contains lines of great power. These may 
serve as an example : — 

" O patria, O pelagi, decus Anglia & inclyta bello 
Gloria saxonidum ! quantum mutatis ab ilia 
Quae fueras olim, mundi melioribus annis? " 

[61 ] 



* The criticisms on Shakespeare's will, though harsh, may 
be shewn to be justifiable. It is paltry in construction be- 
cause it is marred by so many interlineations. It recites, 
line 2, that the testator is **in perfect health and memo- 
rie." Notwithstanding this, in item 2 the testator gives and 
bequeaths unto his daughter Judith one hundred and fifty 
pounds more if she or any issue of her body be living at the 
end of three years, — not after the testator's decease, but 
three years ensuing the day of the date of this his will. 

Non constat a man, in perfect health and memory, might 
himself be in full life at the date specified. He provides that 
if any husband of Judith to whom she may be married, at the 
end of the said three years, shall assure unto her and her 
issue lands answerable to the portion there given, then " My 
will is that the said one hundred and fifty pounds shall be 
paid to such husband as shall make such assurance to his 
own usey What he meant to say no doubt is, that the said 
one hundred and fifty pounds shall be paid to such husband 
to his own use as shall make such assurance. This is a very 
different thing, for otherwise the husband might create a use 
in his own favour, and thereby fulfil the language of the will 
but not its intention. 

It is peevish because the testator "breaks his mind to 
small matters " and leaves his wife his second best bed with 
the furniture. 




This question of the wizard-Uke sprite is shallow and 
jejune. It is open to any man's industry to sift out the quo- 
tations from Galen to which Falstaff refers. In addition to 
the Greek excerpt from the undated Aldine (circa 1525) I 
append from the Latin edition of Galen, Froben, 1562, other 
passages which have some bearing on the symptoms and 
causes of apoplexy. 

Tom. 7, pj, B. 
" Apoplexia est dilentio mentis cum exceptione sensum et cor- 
poris resolutione, item apoplexia est in nervis omnitus sensus 
et motus." 

Idem, Tom. 7, j, A. B. 

" Apoplexia ex humanorum Crassorum copia generatur, qui capi- 
tis vasa unde corpore sentendi movendique factulas advenit, 
obstruant Longi morbi interioribus accident hi cephalaea mor- 
bus comitialis. Vertigines oculorum, Caligationes insania, me- 
lancholia lethargus.^^ 

" Ex logis morbis Cephalaea internus capitis dolor est." 

The Greek text is, however, the one Falstaff remembered, 
in his interview with the Lord Chief Justice. 

It is perhaps needless to say that the allusion to Falstaff 
has reference to Sir John's famous interview with the Lord 
Chief Justice, Second Part of King Henry IV, Act i, 
Scene 2 : — 

" Falstaff. This Appoplexie is (as I take it) a kind of Lethargy, 
a sleeping of the blood, a horson Tingling. 

[63 ] 


justice. What tell you me of it ? be it as it is. 

Falstaff. It hath it original from much grief, from study and 
perturbation of the braine. / have read the cause of his effects in 
Galen. It is a kind of deafness." 


My labour as editor of these letters has now been brought to 
an end. What men say about this book, or write about it, 
concerns them and not me. To those who are engaged in 
the business of erecting a national memorial to Bacon's Idol 
of the Theatre, William Shakespeare, I tender this unwel- 
come advice : they had better lose no time. The ground 
beneath that Idol is heavily mined. 


By the Editor 



Motto : At last they shake 

As sportive lads who play in snow 
Can make a little ball wax great 
Though it began attenuate ; 
■ So through another thou didst grow. 

Living thou wast unseen, half-dumb, 
And useless in the vain pretence 
Of intellectual eminence. 

Have done with it. Thy hearse hath come. 




Motto : It flourishes 

If God nourishes 

The tree that is dry we abandon, 

Though once it bore flower and seed, 

But the merciful God layeth hand on 
The Dead, and they blossom indeed. 



(symbol of the author) 
Motto : Nothing beyond 

Whilst I have health and vigour left, 

And my unclouded mind, 
Of favouring Fortune not bereft 

And Providence is kind ; 
Why is it that a man so old. 

In many a curious coil 
Some secret writings to infold, 

Should kill himself with toil ? 
Because with my last prayer and breath 
I crave supremacy o'er death. 

[ &7\ 




Motto : What I desire is not mortal 

Old Timon's wealth, Apollo's grace, 
And Hercules' unbending thews. 
Are like the baubles children choose. 

Are like the shadows which men chase. 

Above my head I hold at rest 

A cipher signifying nought 

To thy dull intellect untaught : 
But tell me what is in my chest ? 



(de bruck 13) 

Motto : The touchstone of Virtue is glory 

Shake speares ! sound trumpets ! in the lists 
The visored knight his futile course doth run ; 

Brazen his armour, iron are his wrists. 
But he shall falter ere this joust be done. 

l€>% ] 



(de bruck I 8) 

Motto : Vice breeds vice 

Nature gives cautions when wise counsellors blanch. 
The leaf infected will infect the branch. 
All evil concourse let thy wisdom flee, 
Thy boon companions are no boon to thee. 


(DE BRUCK B. 6) 

Motto : Nothing solid 

Now who shall read the laws of him 

Who knew not his own laws, 
Or understand the causes dim 

Of faults that had no flaws } 




(de bruck 29) 
Motto : By diligence 

Many men do many things, 
And many things are done, 

And one would fly with waxen wings, 
Who recks not of the sun ; 

But he who sees his duty clear 

Achieves what Httle men do fear. 


(de bruck ii) 

Motto : Ignormice must be overcome 

Above the avaricious vulture stays. 
Before the anagram betrays. 




(de bruck no. 8) 
Motto : Whilst I breathe I shall hope 

Fate with her pallid lips oft cried, 
Give o'er, for thou art overborne ! 
A wasted life thou mayest mourn. 

But my faith told me fate had lied. 

[71 ] 

(From Bornitius' Emblem Book) 
Ceniena: "tciiicmU Lara nefatUawiACi. 

^fi i(i$ nitdfi/vni HtuQ vcrhu^i 



(From Bornitius' Emblem Book) 

QuiJCmidi cum vanis \^eQ.ims:l<!m.cor%Mm 
£d uSi \(ie[m^u$. C(ir0uSjh arce^oCi . 

JB 3, 




a town in Germany. 


archaic word for information, 




to make certain. 








to betray. 












have come. 

Communis error 

' facitjus. 

common error makes right. 










outside of. 







Et id omne 


and all that sort. 






good evening. 


device or emblem. 



Inter alia, 

among other things. 

In Homines 


Against the Wretches. 

In few. 

in brief. 


headpiece of a door or window. 

Mirifici Logarithmorum Ca- Description of the Law of the 

nonis Descriptio, 

Wonderful Logarithms. 

Mirabile Dictu, 

wonderful to relate. 

Magna est Veritas et praeva- Great is Truth and it shall 





Mendacia visa. 

plain untruth. 


the important part. 


obsolete preterite of the verb 


Nil ultra, 

nothing beyond. 



Non constat, 

it stands not. 


expressed by parable. 







Quoth 'a, 

Qtwd voluimus facile 

exact. Its use as an adverb is 


4 lb. loaf of bread, 
said he. 
C7'edi- what we wish, easily we believe. 



Satis superque, 

enough and more than enough. 


plants indigenous to Spain, of 

which nets are made. 


obsolete plural of shoe. 


a week. 



Suggestio falsi, 

false suggestion. 


an appellation given to Aris- 

totle from his birthplace. 










"Speech of touch " is a speech 

that sensatively affects a per- 

son or thing. 


Spanish for crossing or thwart- 






Virgo et Mater y Sancta Ma- 
ria^ ora pro me^ 
Vera inductioney 


Virgin and Mother, Holy Mary, 

pray for me. 
by true induction. 


the pronoun ity and a contrac- 
tion for that. 

Electrotyped and printed by H. O. Houghton &> Co. 
Cambridge, Mass., U.S. A.